Saturday, May 1, 2010
A Fragile State of Mind
It feels safe. But a transparent safe. The kind of safe you see in horror movies when the main character suddenly spots the ghost/killer/ hooded person with the fishhook and dives behind the closest table and waits....and waits...and waits..and nothing happens. So he takes a chance and peeks, nothing happens; he stands up and looks around, nothing happens; he decides to walk right into the middle of room so anything can see him and he can really see no one and still nothing happens. He is safe; he seems safe. He takes a deep breath and walks out and....well, mistake....fishhook to the head.
That is the kind of safe I'm feeling right now and probably what most Tiger fans are feeling right now about our recruiting class. It's too dangerous to talk about it out loud, the whole thing could crumble. We are all waiting for what can go wrong, for everything to fall apart like everything else has involving Tiger basketball in the last year or so. However, you can't really blame us. In a span of just a couple of years Tiger fans saw their championship choked away, their Diva Coach bolting for more publicity and more money, their prized recruiting class stolen by said Diva, snake-oil salesaman coach, and to add insult to injury the first of this list now technically never happened as the NCAA has decided that the Derrick Rose was ineligible and that it was our fault that they cleared him. I won't even mention the big time, season-saving recruitment of Latavouis Williams and then his subsequent defection to go pro in the NBDL instead or that we basically lost two championships in three years (John Wall, Cousins, Coleman, Sallie, Witherspoon, Bledsoe..they would have won the title + the one Coach X choked away for us, okay the one we choked away). The point is Memphis fans are seemingly always braced for the worst. That is why whenever we talk about our recruiting class we can only whisper it, just in case, no jinxing it or getting our hopes up so when the whole thing inevitably does fall apart we can safely say 'Oh we knew something was going to go wrong'.
But it seems as though the fresh pollen-filled, allergy inciting Memphis spring breezes are beginning to wash away the painful memories and pessimistic feelings that have devoured our pschyes. It feels okay now to be cautiously optimistic, this recruiting class might just make it all the way to Memphis, maybe even play a game or two in a Memphis uniform at the Fedex Forum. It might be okay to discuss what might happen next year and what could be. Will Barton, Joe Jackson, Jelan Kendrick, Tarik Black, Chris Crawford, Hippolyte Tsafack, and Antonio Barton, we can even say their names out loud now..... with a slight, quiet tinge of hope. Most of the coaching moves have been made and Josh Pastner is still here. Of course we're all sure that Roy Williams will announce his retirement anyday now and UNC will contact Pastner and take all our recruits, but it hasn't happened yet. It has been a long year since the destruction of the Memphis basketball program at the unforgiving hands of Coach X, but it seems, just for the moment, that we are finally at the light at the end of the tunnel that we have been dreaming of for so long. The only problem is most of us still expect it to be a train.